'We may be on track to beat some recent records'

'We may be on track to beat some recent records'

A closer look at SIDS deaths in the USA and the latest on the nation's flu epidemic. So far 63 children have died this season.

That's higher than last week, when the rate was 51 per every 100,000, and higher than during the fifth week of the 2014-15 season, which recorded about 44 people hospitalized per 100,000. More than 40,000 deaths were recorded and the numbers are still on the rise. "And that's fine because you know, a lot of times, I just say to the parents, look, if you're anxious, just bring them in, let me listen to the hearts and lungs and make sure there's no super infection", says Dr. Shilpa Patel. She survived her first bout with flu after receiving medication but exactly one month after, she was sick again with flu and pneumonia and her health steadily deteriorated.

Though cases along the northern border near Canada and a bit along the West Coast show some signs of easing, there are "likely many more weeks to go", CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds there's been little change since 1999 in the number of sudden infant deaths.

The prevalent flu strain is still the Influenza A or the H2N2 but the CDC also noted rising strains of Influenza B and H1NI virus. Nordlund said. Anytime H3N2 strains are dominant, as they are now, "we tend to see more severe disease more hospitalizations, more deaths".

Influenza B viruses are not divided into subtypes but are further broken down into lineages and strains.

Meanwhile, health officials on Saturday confirmed the third pediatric death of the 2017-2018 flu season in New York City.

Likewise, 10,726 cases of the flu had been reported to DHEC in the week from January 28 to February 3. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year. However, since the end of December, ILI activity this season has continued to increase beyond those two prior seasons and is "now at the highest level that we've seen since the pandemic in 2009".

"This season is now following within expected range in terms of the number of weeks of elevated activity, but the actual level of activity is pretty remarkable", Budd observed.

In the most recent week data were available, 10% of deaths in the nation were from influenza and pneumonia.

Schuchat said, "In the past five seasons, influenza-like Illness has been elevated for between 11 and 20 weeks, and we're only at week 11 now, so we could potentially see several more weeks of activity".

"She's making all of this progress, but [doctors] keep telling us she is still very ill".

Most children and adults who get sick will recover at home without complications, she said.

Even though the flu vaccine has low effectiveness against H3N2 viruses, it is more effective against other flu viruses, Schuchat said.

Recent reports reveal that patients are contracting two strains of the flu.

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She recommended calling ahead to pharmacies to make sure a prescription can be filled. The CDC is working with pharmacies, drug producers and others to better distribute the medicines and alleviate spot shortages.

"The commercial supply is there", she said so dipping into the strategic national stockpile is not necessary.

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